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“How The Facebook Age Has Influenced Changes In Human Behavior.”

2141 words - 9 pages

“How the Facebook age has influenced changes in human behavior.”

In the past, many people were limited to who they were able to interact with, and most online communication occurred through electronic mails. The amount of information exchanged was very limited because many computers were not yet capable of holding vast amounts of data and the speed in which the information was transferred was not fast enough. But with the advancement in broadband technology, also came the expansion of communication channels. The thirst for instant communication resulted in the creation of social networks such as Facebook. After its beginning in 2004, Facebook revolutionized the way people interacted ...view middle of the document...

There are many factors that drive people to want to feel connected to others, and instantly communicate on a regular basis. A research study conducted by students of Boston University suggests that the use of Facebook is driven by two primary necessities: the desire to belong, and the need for self-promotion. (Hoffman, Nadkarni) The study also found that cultural and demographic factors contributed to the need to belong to a group of people; whereas neuroticism, narcissism, shyness, self-esteem and self-worth contributed to the need for self-promotion. (Hoffman, Nadkardni) The many technological tools people use to connect with each other has allowed these social networks to become part of people’s lives on a more personal level. People are now able to create public or semi-private profiles, identify a list of other people with whom a connection can be shared, and view and track connections made by individuals and others. A different study by Professor Bree McEwan from the University of Western Illinois suggests that using Facebook doesn't necessarily promote relational development nor is it detrimental to friendships. (12)
She explains, “using Facebook to post on a friend's wall or to share condolences or congratulations are linked to feeling closer to the friend and more satisfied with the friendship; however, sometimes people just post broadcast-style status updates as a way to maintain specific relationships. These types of messages correlate with negative relational outcomes. In addition, the less an individual posts mass status updates to Facebook, the more that person dislikes it when their friends do so.” (McEwan 12)

Many people do not measure the potential impacts of the compulsive use of smartphones or tablets. Smartphone addiction is particularly worrying and it ties directly into the connection between technology and the use of Facebook. People seem to be talking to each other less and communicating with each other through their devices instead. Although smartphones and tablets provide us with the means by which we can entertain ourselves, engage in work activities, and connect with other people, it is when you introduce Facebook into the mix that you being to get something more sinister. Through their devices, people can now escape the real world and become engaged in an emotionally unattached observation mode. According to Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor who has conducted several studies on the subject of social media addiction, “We are getting used to a new way of being alone, while being together. People want to be connected with each other, but also elsewhere, because the thing that matters most to them is control over where they put their attention”. (47) This is particularly alarming because the more we detach ourselves from physical interactions the easier it is for us to create false images of reality including the way we see other people and ourselves.
Many Facebook users idealize the lives of others who show only...

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